Buckingham Palace is the residence of the Queen of England. No matter what time of the day you show up at the palace gates, it will be packed. Although the iron gates always stay bolted shut, a glimpse at the Queen's residence is enough to have you gaping. Plus, the change of guard is something worth checking out, though I'm not too sure of the exact time of day it happens.
Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park is one of the most popular and easily accessible travel destinations in Scotland. We pre-decided the driving route, crossed the English-Scottish borders in style; received a musical welcome from a Scottish piper as we officially entered Scotland but it was miles to go before we reached our destination.
During our walk we saw a great deal of modern blocks of various architectural quality, side by side with houseboats, boardwalk environment and small, green spots with grass and trees. Everywhere there were trendy cafés where the young and hip ad-agency people, artists and “creative types” were sitting with their iPads, checking e-mails, or a copy of “The Observer” as they sipped their organic juices and coffees. One of the things that really fascinates me about London is the fact that there is so much history. Originally founded by the Romans about 2000 years ago, the “current London” is literally built upon the ruins of millennia and ever so often remains from the past, even of a significant, historic value, are found and being excavated. In medieval times London developed into one of the most important cities in Europe and the list of brutal, reckless kings that have ruled England from here is long! In the older areas of the city you find many buildings dating back 500 years or more. As already mentioned, several pubs are centuries old, and many of them make quite an effort to inform you just HOW old they actually are, and which prominent, historic figures that have come and gone over the years. It IS actually exciting! Imagine to sit by the same table as William Shakespeare, drinking a pint of lager. There are quite a few arguments about which pub that can rightfully claim the title as “London’s oldest pub”. No one knows for sure. But there are a handful of pubs in the central part of the city that have had their license at least since the 1660´s. No matter which one is the oldest, I find that rather impressive. I do not think that there will be many of the present day “shopping street pubs” around 350 years from now. But in the center of London they live and work “in the middle of history” every day!
Day three came soon; a little drippy and drowsy. The clouds populated the sky so intensely that we couldn’t muster up the courage to explore around the loch. It was best to bring out the board and card games while still stealing a glimpse of the Loch Lomond. After repeated failures to take a walk outside, we finally settled down with a cup of coffee on Uno. We enjoyed the drizzle from within the closed doors, without cold and without wet. Only the sound splattered on the wooden deck and the drops trickled down the glass windows. The old hills exhibited new colours; in some places new waterfalls sprung out and the clouds started to dissolve as it poured.
Aros is a beautiful park near Tobermory. It offers many walking trails ranging from easy to moderate. When we parked our car at the Aros car park, it was a crisp winter day and the temperature hovered around Zero degree Celsius. It was indeed chilly but we deluded ourselves by looking at the Sun(which seemed only to be a source of light minus the heat) and started our 1.5 mile walk to the waterfall. It is a moderate walk, a little boggy at places and there's a view point at the end of the trail, with fantastic views of the waterfall.
This is a very small park, will be close to where I will stay. I look forward to exploring it further! P.S. (May 2016) Am still waiting for spring to fully arrive, but one of those rare sunny days I got out and explored the park a bit. Its quite picturesque, with fountains and landscaping.
White Cliffs of Dover
We love to go hiking around, and up and down, these beautiful cliffs along our coast. If there is one thing I would miss the most if I left England, the White Cliffs would be it. As gorgeous as these chalk formations are, they are also an important symbol of England. For thousands of years they have greeted invaders and visitors alike as they came over from continental Europe. What the Statue of Liberty was to immigrants arriving in America, the White Cliffs of Dover are to those arriving in England. And wow, what a welcome. These cliffs owe their striking white color to the white chalk they are mostly composed of. They are 350 feet at their highest and provide the most incredible views. On clear days you can easily see France across the English Channel, an amazing view for a Sunday stroll.
I have been to Richmond park only once, but people who stay close to it swear by it. Its a huge park in south west London. We went there once in summer, started from one end, walked all across looking for a cycle to rent and ended up spending the whole day just walking:) without ever reaching the cycles! Its a more open park than the rest within the city, has huge wide roads, deer running around and space for a lot more activity than the others. Someday I will make a second visit but till then just memories of its expanse stay with me!